If the headline looks familiar, it is because I wrote a similar story just months ago. But this isn’t recycled news. Once again, Delta has not just raised the price of partner awards, but massively raised prices.
Once Again, Delta Massively Devalues Partner Awards
Prices on partner awards using Delta SkyMiles went way up in October. Way up. You can review those numbers here.
But just three months later, they have gone up again.
Let’s look at new one-way award prices from the USA:
- Europe – from 120,000 (was 95,000 and only 75,000 prior to October 2020)
- India -from 120,000 SkyMiles (was 102,500 and only 85,000 prior to October 2020)
- North Asia now starts at 120,000 SkyMiles (was 102,500 and only 85,000 prior to October 2020)
- Southeast Asia now starts at 165,000 SkyMiles (was 147,500 and only 120,000 prior to October 2020)
Ironically, you can travel round-trip to Southeast Asia using American Airlines miles for less round-trip (140,000) than one-way using Delta miles. Even more ironically, you can travel to Europe for cheaper round-trip than one-way by booking with Air France/KLM directly.
The Middle East and Africa remained unchanged at “only” 115,000 one-way.
What could possibly drive Delta to raise prices a second time on partner awards? Is there something we are missing? All this comes during a time of cheap revenue fares across the board for premium cabins.
My initial thought was Delta was no longer charging half the miles for a one-way trip, similar to revenue tickets for most intercontinental travel on network carriers. But that is not the case. Price a partner round-trip award and it will be double the one-way price above, never lower.
I asked Delta about the change and received the standard response:
Delta regularly evaluates Award Pricing which can result in the increase or decrease of the mileage amount you need to purchase an Award Ticket.
There is simply no justification to collect Delta miles if you intend to redeem them for travel in an international premium cabin.
My advice is simple: rip up your Delta American Express cards. Call up American Express to complain and cancel them. Use a flexible card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or American Express Gold instead.
These latest changes make Delta SkyMiles even less valuable than before.